What is Japanese gaming?

The Japanese video game market is one of the biggest and most mature video game markets worldwide, expected to reach a size of almost 1.8 trillion Japanese yen by 2026. Japanese co

What is Japanese gaming?

The Japanese video game market is one of the biggest and most mature video game markets worldwide, expected to reach a size of almost 1.8 trillion Japanese yen by 2026. Japanese companies have played an important role in shaping the global video game industry at least since the 1980s, when the success of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) helped to revive an ailing U.S. gaming market. In 1989, the introduction of the Game Boy revolutionized the handheld sector. Since then, both home and handheld consoles enjoyed a high popularity among Japanese consumers.

The rivalry of the big three console makersThe markets for both types of devices were driven by changing rivalries over the decades, which furthered competition and the innovation of new products. While the early 1990s were marked by the rivalry between Sega and Nintendo, the entry of Sony in the mid-1990s and Microsoft in the early 2000s established today's competition of the global home console market. Since then, Sony's PlayStation and Microsoft's Xbox have become well-known gaming brands. In recent years, the Japanese home console market was split between Sony's PlayStation 4 (2014), Microsoft's Xbox One (2014), and Nintendo's Switch (2017), while the handheld market was split between the PlayStation Vita (2011), the Nintendo 3DS (2011), the Nintendo 2DS (2016), and the Nintendo Switch Lite (2019). In November 2020, the release of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X ushered in the newest generation of home consoles. In the form of the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition and the Xbox Series S, downgraded but more affordable versions were released as well. While the competition between the three manufacturers is more evenly distributed in other national home console markets, Nintendo and Sony clearly dominate their home market.

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